Item - 2023.PH3.7

Tracking Status

PH3.7 - Our Plan Toronto: Land Needs Assessment

Decision Type:

Committee Decision

The Planning and Housing Committee:


1. Received the report (April 13, 2023) from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning for information as background to the Municipal Comprehensive Review of the Official Plan with regard for A Place to Grow: the Provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2020).

Decision Advice and Other Information

The Manager, Planning Research and Analytics, City Planning and the Project Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Policy and Analysis, City Planning gave a presentation on Our Plan Toronto: Land Needs Assessment.


(April 13, 2023) Report from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning


This report summarizes the findings of the 2023 update to the Land Needs Assessment, a component of the Municipal Comprehensive Review of the Official Plan with regards to A Place to Grow: the Provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2020 ("Growth Plan").


The Land Needs Assessment is a provincially mandated study to determine the quantity of land required to accommodate forecasted population, household and employment growth to 2051. The work undertaken through the Land Needs Assessment is a critical component essential to informing the City's growth management and intensification strategy.


To determine the land required to accommodate future housing needs, population forecasts contained in Schedule 3 of the Growth Plan were translated into households by considering demographic factors, immigration and mobility rates and housing occupancy trends. Staff estimated supply potential across Toronto and matched this against the projected mix and range of housing required to accommodate future growth. Similarly, to estimate the land required to accommodate future employment, Growth Plan forecasts were translated into small-area projections by industry sector. By considering economic trends and development opportunities, the land needs and job density requirements of Toronto's Employment Areas were calculated.


The Land Needs Assessment study finds that:


·   the analysis identified a net residential potential of 1,312,040 units, net of demolitions, with the majority (89%) expected to be located in buildings with 5 or more storeys;


·   the net potential housing could accommodate a population of 2,375,481 or 84% growth in the City's population after 2016 for a total population of 5,194,880;


·    there is more than sufficient potential housing in areas designated in the Official Plan for residential development to accommodate Growth Plan population forecasts at 2051;


·  the surplus potential housing stock, after accommodating the population growth forecasted by the Growth Plan at 2051, is equivalent to over fifty years of potential housing supply;


·  despite this supply potential, there is a mismatch between the types of housing that people are seeking and the mix of housing types that are anticipated to be built in the short term. The Housing Action Plan seeks to help address the mismatch between the projected demand for different types of housing and the anticipated supply by prioritizing a broader mix of rental, affordable, and ground-oriented homes;


·  achieving the Municipal Housing Target would require more units to be built than would be required to accommodate the growth currently forecasted or projected by the Province by 2031. The Municipal Housing Target is being addressed through the Staff Report on the Municipal Housing Pledge for the City of Toronto;


·   the City has identified a potential net new housing supply of 646,336 units by 2031, which is 227% of the Municipal Housing Target, and if the current rate of Council approvals continued and the units were realized, the Target could be met, and exceeded. However, achieving the Target would require continual improvements to approval processes and active participation from the development industry and housing providers, and the City would require the financial resources and tools to fund housing-enabling infrastructure;


·   the Growth Plan policies represent minimum standards within the framework of the Provincial policy-led planning system. Council has the ability to go beyond these minimum standards to address matters of importance, such as the 2031 Municipal Housing Target;


·   Toronto's total employment is projected to grow from 1,607,800 in 2016 to between 1,938,800 and 2,101,200 jobs in 2051, while jobs in Employment Areas are projected to grow from 410,700 to between 456,600 and 498,600;


·   as Toronto is unable to expand its settlement area, it needs to retain and intensify its currently designated Employment Areas to accommodate the forecasted employment growth.


The purpose of the updated Land Needs Assessment report is to complete the Growth Plan conformity exercise and demonstrate that there is more than adequate potential to accommodate growth anticipated by the forecasts and projections of the Province. The potential growth represented by the Land Needs Assessment will contribute to the continuing evolution of the City's urban structure. Through the implementation of updated Official Plan policies and the Housing Action Plan, the City is advancing a range of policy directions that balances projected population, household and employment growth against quality of life objectives including equity, climate adaption, inclusive economic growth, infrastructure provision, and an efficient use of land.


The City needs to plan for beneficial outcomes of growth and change, but the LNA Study demonstrates that the City needs to be strategic in its choices to pursue its many priorities. A key challenge will be translating the demonstrated residential potential into homes by applying strategic public and private sector collaboration to realize the actual delivery of well-designed homes for people to live in, within inclusive and climate adapted communities that have the necessary infrastructure for daily life. 

Background Information

(April 13, 2023) Report and Attachments 1 to 13 from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning on Our Plan Toronto: Land Needs Assessment
Attachment 14: Growth Plan Conformity Analysis Support
(April 27, 2023) Presentation from City Planning


(April 26, 2023) Letter from Philip Pothen, Environmental Defence (PH.New)


Phil Pothen, Environmental Defence


Motion to Adopt Item moved by Councillor Frances Nunziata (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at